Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Letters Banning junk food in hospitals

It’s time to ban obesity in NHS employees

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 23 July 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f4646

Rapid Response:

Re: It’s time to ban obesity in NHS employees

A good physique is essential to the perform the job properly in the police and army services. By contrast, the vast majority of NHS jobs are sedentary and being obese doesn't prevent many from performing their job properly. (1).

If we are purely concerned about setting an example to others, why stop with banishing the obese?

What about the anorexically thin ones? Actually evidence suggests there is a survival benefit for being a bit overweight. (2).

And finally, should we also ban people with unconventional views, who might be deemed judgemental and unforgiving of others wrong choices in life?


1. Fouin F. It’s time to ban obesity in NHS employees. BMJ 2013;347:f4646

2. Flegal K, Kit B, Orpana H, Graubard B. Association of All-Cause Mortality With Overweight and Obesity Using Standard Body Mass Index Categories: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA. 2013;309(1):71-82. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.113905

Competing interests: No competing interests

27 July 2013
Santhanam Sundar
Consultant Oncologist
Nottingham University Hospitals NHS trust